Friday, December 19, 2014

Salt Spray, 10x8 Original Oil Painting Seascape

"The sea was angry that day, my friends." - George Costanza 

On a bright sunny day I saw these huge waves breaking on Satellite Beach. I don't think I've ever seen bigger ones there. Of course, it was creating the annual Fall beach erosion. No matter how much sand they dump there, Nature takes it away annually.

The water was churning so much that it threw salt spray up into the air, which I have tried to capture here. I love painting the ocean in all its shapes, movements and colors!


Monday, December 15, 2014

Mary's Roses, 7x5 Oil on Canvas Panel

These roses were in celebration of my friend Mary's birthday, and I have wanted to paint them ever since; however, roses are a daunting subject. These were white, but had a surprising amount of green in them. I was going to paint the other day and got as far as putting the canvas on the easel, but had so many interruptions that I didn't get back to it until today, two days later. It gave me a long time to think about whether I was doing the right thing in painting on a black canvas. Today I plunged right in, and I am really happy with the result. 


Friday, December 12, 2014

Crackers and Oranges, My New Book

 Click on book to go to

This is the cover of my new book, a memoir about my childhood in Dundee, a small Central Florida town. I wanted to write about all the characters who influenced me, especially my very tough grandmothers who survived the Depression and the stress of their sons going off to war. Don't get the idea that it's a downer, though. There were a lot of funny things to tell, too. My book is illustrated throughout with photos, paintings and quirky drawings. You can peek inside on Amazon by clicking the book above or here. 


Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Bok Tower, 5x7 Oil Painting on Canvas Panel

Back in the old days in Florida, before Disney came to Orlando, the big attractions were Silver Springs, Cypress Gardens, and this one, Bok Tower. Bok Tower is a National Historic Landmark in Lake Wales, Florida, built on Iron Mountain, a whopping 295 feet above sea level. Pretty high for Florida.

The gardens were built in 1921 by Edward Bok, editor of Ladies Home Journal. The Singing Tower, above, plays carillon bells daily. Frederick Olmstead, architect of Central Park, designed the beautiful landscape.

Anyone visiting Bok Tower should also stop by Spook Hill in Lake Wales, where you can put your car in neutral and roll uphill. Honest. Go try it.


Thursday, December 4, 2014

Praia Beach, 10x8 Oil Painting on Canvas Panel

I painted this from a very old black-and-white photograph. This was actually right at our back yard when we lived in the Azores, Portugal and this was my son having a great time. The town was called Praia da Vitoria. The Portuguese people were friendly, hospitable, and hard-working. 

My son was two years old when we got there, and he spent the whole first month standing on a little stool looking out the window in amazement as farmers drove their cows and pigs down the street, with an occasional oxcart with its squeaking wooden wheels laboring by. Ever heard an axle that is wood on wood? Very noisy! I have to say, a litter of piglets trotting down the street is a very cute sight. Their little ears flop up and down in the most adorable way, while the farmer walks along behind them with a long stick to keep everything orderly.

How I wish I'd been a serious painter then! The landscape looked like Ireland, green with stone fences; the ocean was gorgeous, and there were cliffs and mountains, as well as picturesque villages with cobblestone streets. The faces of the people were wonderful, too. I need to go back there sometime and do better.

My good news this week is that I won First Place in the Contemporary Fine Art International Juried Fall Show, called "The World Outdoors," for my painting of Cathedral Rock outside Sedona, Arizona. It was one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen, and I poured myself into the painting. 


Monday, December 1, 2014

Fugitive Sea, 6x8 Oil on Canvas Panel

There was a bird in this painting, but I scraped him away. He was so cute in my photo, seen from behind dipping his toe in the water (if he had a toe), but he just didn't work in paint. He was so plain that it was cartoonish and I just could not overcome that.

I'm so looking forward to our big Pieces of 8 sale next Friday and Saturday in Eau Gallie at Ralph's Art Supply! See for details. 

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Birdie Coiffure, 6x6 Oil Painting on Canvas Panel

I always enjoy these birds, especially this one with his hair sticking up like he's in a boy band. 

This is Thanksgiving Day, and I am very thankful to live in Florida, looking out my window at the beautiful sunny day we are having. My new knee is not healed enough to permit me to cook Thanksgiving dinner, but we are invited to the home of a really good cook, so I am also thankful for that!


Monday, November 24, 2014

Two Palms, 6x8 Oil Painting on Panel

Well, I will soon be building my brand-new, luxurious studio because James Comey of the FBI emailed me that for only $750 and my personal information I will receive over 10 million dollars from lottery/gambling/inheritance money due me from "overseas."

I keep wondering how many people fall for this, just another version of the Nigerian scam. Someone must, or they wouldn't keep doing it. The letters are always poorly written and don't even come close to being believable, yet someone must be sending them money.

This has nothing to do with my painting above, I just need to sound off now and then. I once had a friend who would say, "There are eight million people in New York City. If I could just get each one to send me a penny..."


Thursday, November 20, 2014

By the Sea, Seascape,Oil on Canvas panel,10x8

I feel such sympathy for the people up north (and by "up north" I mean anything above the Florida-Georgia line). I don't think I'd survive in places with eight feet of snow. No wonder my grandmother came to Florida from Missouri in the 1900s. 

This painting is what Fall looks like here. We usually get a big November storm, which for us means rain, wind, beach erosion, and the leaves blowing off the plumeria tree. I have no complaints!


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Red Roof Cottage, 10x8 Original Acrylic on Panel

I know, I know. This is an abrupt change from my previous post. Members of my painting group, Pieces of 8, present challenges each week to get us out of our comfort zone. This one was from Cindy Michaud. It is fun to do something so completely different from my usual. It is influenced by Clarice Cliff, an important ceramic artist in the 1920s. Below is an example of her work, which is highly valued today.